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Full text of "Byzantine Churches In Constantinople"

xni                    THE CHURCH OF S. THEKLA                    209
with the church of S. Thekla^ on the ground of the similarity of the two names3 has a strong presumption in Its favour.
A second consideration In support of this identification Is the statement made by Achmed RIfaat Effendi, that before the church became a mosque It was known by the name of its founder^ c Isakias.5 For It Is a matter of history that the church of S. Thekla was restored by the Emperor Isaac Comnenus1 In the eleventh century. The association of his name with the building was therefore perfectly natural^ If the building Is indeed the old church of S. Thekla^ otherwise it is difficult to account for that association.
There Is3 however5 one objection to this identification that must not be overlooked. According to Byzantine authorities, the church of S. Thekla stood in the palace of Blachernae (eVro? TGOP /3aonXel<j)v ; ev TO irdXarlŽ r&v B\a%epvG>v2>). That palace occupied the heights above Aivan Serai, on which the quarter of Egri Kapou and the mosque of Aivas Effendi now stands within the walls that enclose the western spur of the Sixth Hill* Toklou Ibrahim Ded6 Mesjedi, however3 does not stand within that enclosure, but immediately to the north of It, on the level tract that stretches from the foot of the Sixth Hill to the Golden Horn. If the reasons in favour of regarding the mosque as S. Thekla were less strong, this objection would, perhaps, be fatal. But the strip of land between the northern wall of the palace enclosure and the sea Is so narrow, and was so closely connected with the life of the imperial residence, that a building on that tract might with pardonable inaccuracy be described, as c in the palace.'8
The church Is mentioned for the first time in the earlier half of the eighth century as a chapel (eu/erypwv) which Thekla, the eldest daughter of the Emperor Theophilus3 restored and attached to her residence at Blachernae.4 The
1  Anna Comnena, vol. i. p. 168.
2  Scylitzes, p. 647 (Cedrenus, vol. ii.); Zonaras, iii. p. 672.
8 If the mosque Aivas Effendi could be proved to stand on the site of a church, the argument against the identification of Toklou Dede" Mesjedi with the church of S. Thekla would be stronger.
4 Theoph. Cont. p. 14.7.
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